How to dual boot XP and Ubuntu?

Asked by Raylax on 2008-04-03

I've been trying Ubuntu from the disc, and I quite like it. I want to install it to my laptop, but I want to be able to choose between Windows XP (currently installed) and Ubuntu at start up (like the CD demo does), so obviously a dual-boot is needed. Is there anything specific I have to do to dual-boot it, or is it just a case of running the Install program in Ubuntu? It wasn't too clear to me in the installer program whether it would install Ubuntu alongside Windows, allowing me to dual-boot, or plain overwrite it (becoming the only OS on the system)...


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Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said :

See for a walk through. When you get to the partition part do the resize option it shows and that will give you a dual boot. Be sure you back up important data. Mistakes can happen and you don't want to loose stuff.

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Raylax (kaijackson2) said :

Uh... mistakes? What are the chances of it screwing my laptop up? I've followed everything as in the tutorial you linked me to, ready to hit the big frightening install button (trufax: next version's install button should be large, round and red)

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Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said :

The chances of the install screwing up anything are small. I've done many dozens of installs and never once had a problem. Nearly all mistakes are user error - choosing the wrong drive or wrong install options, etc. If you have selected the right drive/partitions then you will probably be fine. Still, not backing up important files is a mistake - even if you are 99.9% sure. Backups are just part of good computing practice.

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Raylax (kaijackson2) said :

Hmm... I've rebooted it twice now, but didn't get the GRUB menu, it just keeps loading Ubuntu... reason to panic? D=

I backed up the important files, but I use a software developed by Windows, that I don't think is compatible with Linux (the exe doesn't work in it). Worst case scenario is that XP is gone, I guess... is there any software I can get to mirror XP (like Parallel Desktop on Mac PCs), or something I can use to open exe files?

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Raylax (kaijackson2) said :

EDIT: A software developed FOR windows, not by them

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Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said :

Not seeing grub is not normal. Even with just Ubuntu the grub menu loads - it just doesn't show the whole thing unless you press esc within a few seconds. A back up is a back up but if you need to use the windows program to recover then it's less convenient but still backed up. Unless you have a ton of files, just copying to an external is a quick way to backup.

After you boot Ubuntu, open a terminal (apps - accessories) and type

sudo fdisk -l

Give your password (nothing shows when you type) and paste the output here. That last letter, by the way, is a small L. This will show us what partitions you have and where windows is. If you did the resize option, windows should still be there.

What do you mean by mirror XP? parallels is a virtual machine tool - it doesn't mirror or make full backups if that is what you are thinking. You can set up windows in a virtual machine in Linux (see VMware, VirtualBox, among others) but that is not really the answer to just use a windows app. If it's supported, wine is a better choice Best option is to stick with native Linux apps.

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Raylax (kaijackson2) said :

Disc /dev/hda: 60.0 GB, 60011642880 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 7296 cylinders
Units = cylinders or 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x9fb05a56

     Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 7132 57287758+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda2 7133 7296 1317330 5 Extended
/dev/hda5 7133 7296 1317298+ 82 Linux Swap / Solaris

That's everything. Had to type it out, since it's on a different PC to the one I'm sending these messages on. Check it through, pretty certain it's accurate to the Ubuntu screen.

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Raylax (kaijackson2) said :

If Windows has wiped due to my poor installation techniques, is it possible to reinstall it as a dual boot with Ubuntu? ^_^;

I have the XP install disc somewhere around here, so that's not an issue.

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marcobra (Marco Braida) (marcobra) said :

Yes Windows is gone...

Why you don't install Windows into a VirtualBox virtual machine... on Ubuntu ?
Here a video

Please tell us some about your pc...
cpu: ...
ram size: ...
hard disk size: ...

To install virtualbox
A) - Using System->Administration->Software sources [Ubuntu software tab] please enable (Check the checkbox) all the showed repositories rows.

B )- Then open a Terminal from the menu Applications->Accessories->Terminal and type:

sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude upgrade
sudo aptitude install virtualbox-ose

give your user password when requested, you don't see nothing when you type it, then press enter.

You will find Virtualbox under the Applications->System Tools->Innotek VirtualBox menu.

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Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said :

Yeah, XP is gone. Aren't you glad I said to backup? :) If XP was still there you would see a partition with NTFS file system.

You can reinstall windows but it will overwrite Ubuntu (XP doesn't even ask). That's okay since you really want to install Ubuntu second anyway and you haven't spent any time setting it up yet. I'd just reinstall windows, then add Ubuntu with the resize option (not entire disk).

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Shane Fagan (shanepatrickfagan) said :

just wait for hardy it can be installed in xp

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Raylax (kaijackson2) said :

I've installed Virtual Box, and added myself and root to the vboxusers group, as it says in the instructions. The next step has VB open, but I don't know where to find it

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Raylax (kaijackson2) said :

EDIT: whoops, missed your last step, marcobra. Doing it now ^_^;

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marcobra (Marco Braida) (marcobra) said :

If you are in trouble using usb on VirtualBox and howto install Windows on it:

Hopet his helps

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alexiz617 (alexiz617) said :

i installed ubuntu 8.10 along side my window xps
now when my laptop boot doesn't show any of the OS
i dont see the grub menu nor anything that boots up.
The computer stays in the black screen.. like there is no active MBR

right now i am using the ubuntu live cd
here is some of my information:

  Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 8983 72155916 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2 8984 14592 45054292+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5 12749 14592 14811898+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda6 8984 12587 28949067 83 Linux
/dev/sda7 12588 12748 1293201 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Is a toshiba with 2gb of ram , and 180 HD

please any info in how i can fix this problem
i want to be able to have a choice in choosing in which
Operating System i want to loG IN

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marcobra (Marco Braida) (marcobra) said :

Please don't append a new question on a already answered or marked as solved question.
Please make new question from here:
you will get better chance to get right answer on a fresh tagged "open" question.
Solved or answered questions are usually not read from answering people.

Thank you

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